Homestyle Lentil Soup
- 2 cups brown or green lentils uncooked
- 8 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 pounds large gold or red potatoes cut into large cubes
- 8 ounces mushrooms halved or quartered
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 large carrots thickly sliced
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes or 2 tsp. Better Than Bouillon optional (use only if water is used instead of broth)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce coconut aminos, or tamari
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary crushed
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Pick over the lentils and rinse well. Put them into the pressure cooker along with the water or broth.
2. Start the water or broth heating in the pressure cooker while you chop the vegetables. Add all ingredients to the cooker and stir. Seal the cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes for electric pressure cooker or 8 minutes stovetop. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes before using a quick-release method to release the pressure. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can simply simmer this covered on the stove until the lentils are tender, about an hour; add water as necessary.)
3. Check to make sure the lentils and potatoes are tender; if not, cook, covered but not at pressure, until done, adding water if it seems too thick. Remove the bay leaves, and check the seasonings, adding more poultry seasoning and salt, if desired. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
Vegetarian Phở (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
For the broth:
- 1 large onion peeled and halved
- 2- inch piece fresh ginger peeled and halved lengthwise
- 3- inch cinnamon stick preferably Vietnamese cassia-cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock or broth
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce we use coconut aminos
- 4 carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
For the noodles:
- 1/2 pound dried flat rice noodles known as bánh phở; use 1/16", 1/8", or 1/4" width depending on availability and preference
For the toppings (choose a few):
- Protein such as fried or baked tofu bean curd skin, or seitan
- Vegetables such as bok choy napa cabbage, or broccoli
For the garnishes (choose a few):
- 1/2 large onion very thinly sliced
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 chile pepper Thai bird, serrano, or jalapeño, sliced
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- Large handful of herbs: cilantro Thai basil, cilantro
- Hoisin sauce Sriracha (optional)
To make the broth, char the onion and ginger over an open flame (holding with tongs) or directly under a broiler until slightly blackened, about 5 minutes on each side. Rinse with water.
In a large pot, dry-roast cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander over medium-low heat, stirring to prevent burning. When you can smell the aroma of the roasted spices, add vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots, and charred onion and ginger.
Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and keep hot until ready to serve.
Make the noodles while the broth simmers. Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain. (If soaking does not soften the noodles enough, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.)
Prepare the toppings as desired – slice and cook tofu, lightly steam or blanch vegetables, and so on. Toppings should be unseasoned or only lightly seasoned so as not to interfere with the flavor of the broth.
To serve, divide the noodles between two bowls. Arrange toppings over noodles. Ladle the broth between the two bowls. Serve with garnishes on the side, which diners should add to taste.
- 2 c chopped onion
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 chopped celery stalk
- 1 chopped medium carrot
- 1 t minced oregano
- 1 t minced basil
- ½ t minced rosemary
- ½ t black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 c chopped zucchini
- 5 c vegetable stock and/or water
- 2 c soaked and cooked garbanzo or other beans
- 1 c dry whole wheat pasta
- 2 c chopped tomatoes canned ok, just watch sodium and sugar!
- minced parsley optional
- vegan parmesan cheese optional
Sauté the onion and garlic in the a little water for 5 minutes. Add celery, carrot, and herbs, then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the zucchini and stock/water, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Bring the soup to a boil, add pasta, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender (7-10 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes and serve, topped with parsley and/or vegan parmesan cheese.
Notes This is a very flexible recipe: experiment with the amount of stock or water to arrive at your preferred consistency – light soup, thick stew, etc. You can also try adding other ingredients like mushrooms, cabbage, and eggplant.
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